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Overflow Housing Draws Mixed Reviews from Upperclassmen

The three houses in the Radcliffe Quadrangle are using the Chronkhite Center, located on Brattle Street, for overflow student housing this school year.
The three houses in the Radcliffe Quadrangle are using the Chronkhite Center, located on Brattle Street, for overflow student housing this school year. By Pei Chao Zhuo
By Audrey M. Apollon and Dekyi T. Tsotsong, Crimson Staff Writers

Nia N. Meadows ’22-’23 is spending her senior year living in overflow housing located across the street from Lowell House — her residence of years past.

Meadows opted to move to Ridgely Hall to secure a single room for her final year at the College, rather than a double in Lowell. The singles in Lowell House were all taken before her turn in the housing lottery.

“Everyone who got a single was a senior,” she said. “The singles went pretty quickly because they're just nice.”

Students like Meadows were placed in overflow housing this year due to the record-size Class of 2025 and students returning from leaves of absence during the pandemic. All upperclassman houses except Leverett House have placed students in alternate buildings due to space constraints.

Some students have lauded the alternative accommodations as more spacious.

Kolby R. Johnson ’25, a student in Kirkland House, said his dorm in the Prescotts offers a “better housing situation.”

“The Prescotts is a bit nicer in terms of actual living facilities,” Johnson said. “It's actually just very spacious, and it feels more like apartment living as opposed to dorm living, which I kind of enjoy.”

Wamda M. Garo ’24 opted for Ridgely housing to avoid Lowell’s “extremely small” singles.

“The main thing I really wanted was a kitchen and having a really big common space also really helps,” Garo said.

Still, students relegated to overflow housing said their arrangement brings some disadvantages, citing a physical and figurative disconnect from house life.

Garo said she misses being able to walk through the Lowell courtyard as she exits her room.

“Lowell has a really beautiful courtyard, and I think every time you walk out, you appreciate it and appreciate the house,” Garo said. “It's definitely a difference — living across the street, having to make an effort to go to your courtyard, rather than just walking into it and seeing your friends every single time you walk out your door.”

Johnson’s dorm in the Prescotts is located half a mile from his assigned house — Kirkland. He must travel to another upperclassman house to eat in a dining hall.

“A major con though is obviously the walk back to Kirkland,” Johnson said. “So we’re far away from the housing community for things like food and social interaction.”

Houses located in the Radcliffe Quadrangle — once known for its spacious singles — are lodging additional students in Cronkhite Center, a former graduate student dormitory located next to the Admissions Office. Students living in Cronkhite must travel to the Quad or another upperclassman house for dining.

Still, Johnson said he considers living in overflow housing in the Prescotts to be a nice change.

“The big thing for me is as long as I am living with people I vibe with, I’m gonna have a great time,” Johnson said.

— Staff writer Audrey M. Apollon can be reached at

— Staff writer Dekyi T. Tsotsong can be reached at

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